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Best museums in the U.S.

  • Best museums in the U.S.

    Museums are places of wonder—portholes to history, beauty, and inspiration. For some, museums represent a kind of fantasy, whether that involves living in the Metsome of those 17th-century beds do look pretty comfy—or hanging out with an animated dinosaur skeleton.

    Everyone can find a museum that appeals to their specific interests. There are museums dedicated to nearly anything one could imagine: from ice cream and PEZ memorabilia to a museum dedicated to mustard. There’s even a museum devoted exclusively to bad art.

    Stacker pulled data from Foursquare in order to rank the top-rated museums in the United States. Some of them are enormous, featuring art from every corner of the globe; some explore a particular niche, person, or moment in time. Whichever the case may be, one fact remains: the museums on this list are the best of the best. Come on in—no ticket required.

    ALSO: Most popular historic sites in America

  • #50. Newseum

    Address: 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (at 6th St. NW), Washington, D.C.

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    Newseum is one of the most interactive museums in existence. This establishment is dedicated to the importance of a free press and the First Amendment, and features exhibits like “1968: Civil Rights at 50,” and an interactive newsroom where visitors can play the role of a newscaster. However, not everyone is thrilled by the museum’s mission or location.


  • #49. Whitney Museum of American Art

    Address: 99 Gansevoort St. (btwn 10th Ave. and Washington St.), New York, NY

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    At $25 dollars a pop, tickets to the Whitney Museum of American Art certainly don’t come cheap, but that’s the price of viewing world-class art in New York City. Recent exhibitions include work by Andy Warhol and David Wojnarowicz, both of which affirm the museum’s commitment to “the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art.” Though a recent location change did ruffle some feathers, the new space does seem to be growing on the public at large.


  • #48. The Field Museum

    Address: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. (at McFetridge Dr.), Chicago, IL

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    Though the current iteration of the Field Museum has been open to the public since 1921, its origins date back further. The collection was founded with items displayed at the 1893 World’s Fair. In addition to displaying this collection, the museum also employs researchers and scientists, and has a hand in important sustainability work.


  • #47. Albert Einstein Planetarium

    Address: 600 Independence Ave. SW (at 6th St. SW), Washington, D.C.

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    The Albert Einstein Planetarium is a component of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The Planetarium features a variety of shows each day, including “Journey to the Stars,” narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, and “Dark Universe,” an exploration of the 95% of the universe that isn’t visible. The best part: astronaut ice cream is available after each showing.


  • #46. Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University

    Address: 571 S. Kilgo Cir. NE, Atlanta, GA

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    Located in Druid Hill, Georgia, the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University features art and artifacts from antiquity to the present. Now considered one of the most revered institutions in the state, the museum was originally founded in 1919.


  • #45. The National WWII Museum

    Address: 945 Magazine St. (at Andrew Higgins St.), New Orleans, LA

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, aims to present an understanding of the war that is at once all-encompassing and personal. The museum also aims to portray the war in today’s context, analyzing the impact of the war that changed the world. A new exhibit, “So Ready for Laughter,” explores the legacy of Bob Hope, whose entertainment of the troops greatly contributed to morale.


  • #44. Denver Art Museum

    Address: 100 W. 14th Avenue Pkwy (btwn Broadway & Bannock St.), Denver, CO

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    The Denver Art Museum contains more than 70,000 works divided between 10 collections. In 2006, the museum doubled in size with the addition of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building. The entire complex now totals more than 350,000 square feet. The museum was also honored as the only U.S. stop on a tour of the biggest Monet exhibition in years.


  • #43. Space Shuttle Endeavour

    Address: California Science Center (700 Exposition Park Dr.), Los Angeles, CA

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded just a minute after liftoff, killing all seven crew members on board. Endeavour was built as a replacement, and made its final launch in 2011, making it the youngest member of NASA’s retired space shuttle fleet. The Endeavour is now on display in Los Angeles at the California Science Center.


  • #42. National Gallery of Art

    Address: 6th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    The National Gallery of Art was given to the general public by Andrew W. Mellon, a Pittsburgh art collector who also served as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1921 to 1932. Mellon offered the gift of his art collection to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, and in 1937, construction began. The museum features work by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Mark Rothko.


  • #41. National Air and Space Museum

    Address: 600 Independence Ave. SW (at 6th St. SW), Washington, D.C.

    Foursquare rating: 9.4

    The National Air and Space Museum houses another museum on this list—the Albert Einstein Planetarium—but its offerings don’t stop there. This museum, which is free to the public, is a hub of all things flight, featuring attractions like the only piece of the Apollo 11 space shuttle to return to Earth. The museum is commencing a massive construction project in 2018, which will take an estimated seven years to complete.